Australian Census 2016; What you need to know

Monday, August 08, 2016

As demographers and social researchers there are a few calendar events that cause for celebration. Among them include population milestones, special data set releases and, of course, the Census. Rolling around only every 5 years, the Census provides us all with vital information about our nation’s population growth, infrastructure and future-planning needs.

In 2016 the Census will be held tomorrow, Tuesday 9th August. It has been conducted every 5 years since 1911, and is the biggest democratic activity in Australia. While July’s election counted 14 million votes, the 2016 Census will include every household, age group, resident and visitor – all 24 million of us.

So here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming 2016 Census.


This will be the most unique Census Australia has ever seen. In keeping with these technological times, 2 in 3 people will complete their form online, up from just 1 in 3 in 2011 and 1 in 10 back in 2006 (the first time there was an electronic option).


Firstly, the Census will show that our national population is growing, having hit a new record in February of this year and surpassing a population of 24 million people. Additionally, it will also show that Australia’s largest city – Sydney, has broken through the 5 million milestone.

Not only will the Census show that our population is growing, but also that we are ageing. Our population profile will no longer be a “population pyramid”, because for the first time there will be more Australians aged over 55 than under 20.

So the Census will show that our population is growing, ageing and as a result, it will show that we are moving. For the first time this Census will reveal that one in four Australian households live in townhouses or apartments rather than detached houses – the highest figure ever, up from just one in ten in 1966.


This year there will be a change to the religion question with the option of “No religion” now appearing at the top of that question rather than at the bottom, so it might attract some more numbers.

Additionally the question asked of women: “How many babies has she ever given birth to” states “live births only”, but will now include stillbirths and give acknowledgement of that loss And the question: “Is the person male or female” - will allow an alternative blank box for those who identify with neither gender.


Like participating in the election, it is compulsory to complete the Census. But for everyone in the country, not just citizens or residents. The Census and Statistics Act takes sitting the Census very seriously, with fines for non-completion after receiving an order to complete incurring a fine of $180 per day, and false answers can attract a fine of $1800.

But the good news is that the Act takes privacy very seriously as well and answers cannot be divulged by the ABS to anyone – even government agencies. Confidentiality is assured.


If we thought we had to wait a while for the election results, be prepared for a longer wait for the Census findings. It will be analysed at record speed, but that still means a wait of 8 months, April 2017, with the full results not coming out until 2018!

Happy 24 millionth Australia!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Early this morning, Australia passed a significant population milestone. At 12.51 am on Tuesday, 16 February 2016, Australia officially has a population of 24 million people. But who was the 24 millionth Australian, and what does a population of 24 million mean for our country? Because not everyone is glued to the ABS population clock like us, we thought we'd break down what it all means. We're futurists, after all. Find out more below.

Here's who we are and what we look like:

more analysis of australia at 24 million:

A new population milestone

12 vs 24 million

Myth busting

24 facts about australia at 24 million

View the Australian Bureau of Statistics population clock here.

in the media


A new population milestone

Friday, February 05, 2016

A new population milestone

Australia is fast closing in on the next population milestone of 24 million. In the early minutes of Tuesday 16 February 2016, at 12:51am, Australia will officially hit a population of 24,000,000. Because not everyone will be glued to the ABS Population clock (link) like us, we thought we’d give you an advanced peak at what it will show (we’re futurists after all!).

Doubling Australia’s population- in pace with the world

In 1968, Australia’s population reached 12 million and so it has taken 48 years to double. Interestingly, in 1970, the global population was exactly half what it currently is at 7.3 billion and so the world has taken only slightly less time, 46 years, to double.

More than one third of Australians have seen both Australia, and the world double in population size in their lifetime!

A new million- in record time

Australia reached 23 million on 23 April 2013 which means it has added its 24th million in 2 years, 9 months and 2 days. This is the first time that a million people has been added to Australia’s population in less than 3 years. From 1954 when the population hit 9 million, until 2003 when the population hit 20 million, each addition million was added in a time span of around 4 and a half years. From 20 to 23 million, the time span had decreased to add each million every 3 and a half years (keeping in mind the readjustment in the timing of Australia reaching 22 million which was altered due to population adjustments based on the results of the 2011 Census).

And 17 years ahead of schedule

When Australia’s population reached 19 million on 18 August 1999, the factors of population increase were such that the forecast was for the national population to reach 24 million in 2033. However rather than each new million being added every 7 to 9 years as was forecast based on the trends at the time, Australia is adding an extra million every 3 years (increasing from 21 million to 24 million in 8 years and 8 months).

Baby boom, longevity boom and migration growth

Not only has the fertility rate over the last decade been much higher than predicted (and the consequential record baby boom averaging 300,000 births per year), but the increase in life expectancy was also beyond these predictions. And while net migration numbers have been slowing over the last couple of years, growth from migration was, and still is above the forecasts of the late 20th Century.

40 million by 2050

As recently as 2009 the forecast was for the population to reach 36 million by 2050. However, even based on the more modest population growth rate of 1.5% (well below the highs of 1.9% achieved in recent years), Australia’s population will reach 40 million by mid-century, with the possibility of it being beyond 43 million (based on 1.7% annual growth).

24 million of 7.3 billion

While Australia’s population growth is significant in national terms, our new milestone of 24 million is small compared to the US population of 323 million. And in a global context, Australia’s share of the world’s population is just 0.32% - less than one-third of 1%!

Happy 24 millionth Australia!

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


social commentary future proof gender baby name predictions home owner quote happiness not for profit slideshare ultimo baby name January 26th sydneycity bureau winter Bathburst earn unemployment housing social analysis Education Future Forum South Australia baby know the times teleworking sun child care overcast emerging generations norwest Social Trend cost mining boom 2013 cancelling plans woolworths social impact 1994 case study prince george brisbane twentyseventeen winter blues Love parents anzac school satisfaction cold stay home FPA demographer video fears new york times Christmas presents travel Australian communities weather product Christchurch environmental scanning career Hornsby Shire Council Res Vis teachers community hornsby income rule keeper royal family dare to dream home Queensland marketing Northern Beaches report friendship CBD shopping offenders state megatrends sunny days sector population milestone students Kiwi shbc qualitative research outsourcing Financial Planning Association SA holidays Aussies seasons bus suburbs news System's Architect communication wolloomooloo manly typical australian goal commuters healthy future Aussie daily commute event dream plans panel forecast the hills australians staying home more social media royal influence water census 2016 market research employers workshop faux-cilise IT Specialists communicate public holiday 1968 The Daily Edition Wellington sector wide study sports wealth and income change social researchers World Water Day lifestyle property conference presentation public speaker city community event demographic transformations dreaming young australians repayments ferry religion tea Wodonga alpha high density skills data analyst program education education research forecasting sydney event middle class townhouses NEETs Financial Planning Association of Australia sydney hills demographic 10 years toys wealth distribution Northern beaches Event learning cancel plans New South Wales criminal cartodb social enquiry student motivate capital city perth holiday poor car Netflix culturally diverse house prices affordability social change media cultural diversity millennials divorce rate PSI tertiary education ipswich princess charlotte conference earnings professional development housing affordability gold coast community engagement cloudy days professional services australian communities forum Queensland: QLD litter area university consumer tv hello fresh learning styles australia leadership workshop society trends Crime Rates marriage work mates optimistic office space careers leadership relational networking proactive intern online shopping salary national crime rates presentation Research Executive aged care puzzle children population map media activity property price marriages ease of travel future of education mateship cash rental stress university degree schools education future politics Northern Territory environment Northern Beaches Christian School spend 2016 census hobart local communities survey baby boom small business customer census fail curiosity Australia Day 2017 emerging trends Australian Home Financial Planning Week Do It Yourself infographic wall communications contiki internship collaborative supply and demand WA learner Real Estate follow leader award shifts communities Channel 7 apartment darwin village sustainable future proofing families high density apartments work Australian Census hopes GPO cost of living states internet greatness data social researcher ashley fell suburban living faux-cilising non profit potts point culture mythbusters technology mentor high density living generation Z insights household pyrmont in the media huffington post Geoff Brailey Australian Bureau of Statistics Christmas season entertainment trends investment royal baby Engineering Manager omnibus school TDE mccrindle research New Zealand christianity celebration workplace culture house price Myth ACT statistics social issues blaxland travelling changing face of sydney divorce ACF 1980 researcher 2017 entrepreneurs of today office opening crime cooking mobile Australian Families wellbeing futurist 2014 low density Territory growth Australians NT NSW debt fresh trend tuesday bondi resilience global generations internships organisational culture royal "know the times" balance suburb English growing population the hills shire renting social shifts facts #censusfail millionth business index meals home ownership easter not-for-profit real economy February 16 future-proof medicine Mark McCrindle households Canberra easy rider long weekend professional speaker 2012 responsive personal growth unaffordable energy conferences society residents cars paying to work the average aussie builders dessert Sydney keynote speaker future young people government gen alpha EFF authenticity mccrindle entrepreneurial pharmacy media release Tuesday Trend Australian Dream baby name trends world publication economic Generation X commute financial future visualisation wealth and income distribution urban wealth engage population Deaths aussie culture focus group women 2020 sydney speaker aged care priorities workplace trends analyst friends menai generations narcissism media commentary survey design keynote speaker socialites youth challenge teacher infographic population growth property market rain census results school students professional Australian Trends family year 7 insight daily telegraph kate middleton australian communities trends report learn sentiments Assistant Store Manager lalor park 24 million acf15 mccrindle tea storytelling REIV National Conference jobs mother's day language victoria future of work Valentine’s Day sydney metro The ABC of XYZ rich list TAS social life moreton bay moderators guide VIC volunteers staying in marrickville baby names post rationalism transport meetings Channel Seven group session Adelaide Duchess of Cambridge public speaking SMSF sunburnt country Tasmania newspaper church educated ageing population new office crows nest teach tuesday the australian dream Gen X Charlotte speakers parenting rent wedding vegemite pharmacies ACF 2016 trend staff Real Estate Institute of Victoria Population Clock couple data visualisation investing australian social research the changing face of trends of 2016 generation annual income safe urban living millenials research visualisation google for education house global average aussie ethnography national wealth life Sydney 40 million visual christmas HSC identity Christmas lunch educhat New Zeland shopper's pick poker master hills shire brands Australian demographics forum land of the middle class engagement work-life earning rise of local Royals vegetarian optus my business awards cancelling event mortgage demographics click brand experience charity innovation Kirsten Brewer tableau year 12 stats group waverton house price rise 1975 collaboration McCrindle Speakers research education sector Melbourne entrepreneur living geomapping sector wide schools students debate focus groups study ageing financial independence grandparents domestic financial dreams digital training mover and shaker research data innovative Births gen z weekly earnings finance deloitte conference speaker capital cities FOMO neutral bay selfie men tips generation alpha rising house prices teaching interactive jobs of the future relevant 2016 census results personalities emerging technologies monarchy housing market JOMO financial fears youth unemployment Merry Christmas thrive urban taskforce ABS keynote wage affordable local Western Australia 24,000,000 Australian schools REIV Conference eliane experience Australia Day global financial crisis Caregiver national private wealth demographic trends organisations owning a home census graphs world youth day mccrindle in the media 2015 logan ashley mckenzie nfp budget social trends sydneysiders define housing trends names summer social research snapshot DIY increasing densification 2016 mythbusting research pack business father's day Wagga Wagga etiquette optus events education future report Tuesday Trends Word Up Gen Y renter of the future trends of 2017 housing growth generational trends google faux-ciliser goals office ideas recap christian presentations social commentator going out socialising consumerism results DESTEL research services Australian Communities Trends financial online urban living index Generation Y retirement story 23 million wages brand clothing Scouts participants in depth interviews tattoos high school baby boomers investor resource social coffee thought leadership workforce equip buildings eliane miles social lives award winner train food employment analysis